Published: Wed, December 26, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Xi extends condolences to Indonesian tsunami victims

Xi extends condolences to Indonesian tsunami victims

Yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.

Indonesia's meteorological agency on Monday confirmed that the tsunami was caused after a portion of the volcanic Anak Krakatoa island fell into the ocean, The Guardian reported.

The high waves isolated hundreds of people on Sebesi island, about 12 km from the volcano.

Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia Disaster Mitigation Agency, acknowledged on Twitter that the country's network of detection buoys had been out of order since 2012 because of vandalism and budget shortfalls.

In the condolence statement, Xi claimed that he was surprised to learn the Sunda Strait tsunami, which took the lives of people and caused damages to locals' homes and other public facilities.

Earthquakes flattened parts of the island of Lombok in July and August, and a double quake-and-tsunami in September killed more than 2,000 people on a remote part of Sulawesi island. Most of the victims were Indonesian citizens, including many enjoying a pre-Christmas beach getaway not far from the capital Jakarta, but foreigners were also visiting the area.

A massive 9.1 magnitude quake on the western coast of Indonesia's Aceh province in northern Sumatra on December 26 triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coastline, more than half of them in Aceh.

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'Likelihood of further tsunamis in the Sunda Strait remains high' Another tsunami could strike Indonesia, experts warned.

The Indonesian Medical Association said it has sent doctors, medical supplies and equipment, adding that numerous injured require orthopedic surgery or neurosurgery.

No tsunami was triggered, but more than 100 were killed by fallen buildings.

President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election in April, told disaster agencies to install early warning systems, but experts said that, unlike with tsunami caused by earthquakes, little could have been done to alert people that waves were coming.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said a tsunami caused by a partial collapse of a volcano was a rare event globally and was hard to predict, but it nevertheless recommended a system of tidal stations, buoys and/or "visual monitoring with remote sensing" in the waters surrounding Anak Krakatau, Bloomberg News reported.

Dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into a concert by pop group "Seventeen" - hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience. North of the Strait, the impact has also been significant with at least 75 people killed and 22 missing in the province of Lampung, south Sumatra.

The 305-meter (1,000-foot) Anak Krakatau been erupting since June and did so again 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said. The volcano's name means "Child of Krakatau", the island rising from the sea only in 1927, after one of the largest, most devastating eruptions in recorded history occurred at the original Krakatau volcano in 1883.

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